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Healthgrades for ProfessionalsA Novel, Wearable Device May Help Detect Breast Cancer at Home

Wearable Ultrasound Patch Offers New Horizons in At-Home Breast Cancer Screening

A groundbreaking wearable ultrasound patch could revolutionize breast cancer screening by making it more accessible and affordable. Designed to attach to a bra, the device allows for at-home screening and could be particularly beneficial for those who face barriers to traditional mammography.

HCN Medical Memo
The advent of this wearable ultrasound patch could signify a paradigm shift in how breast cancer screening is approached. Although the technology is promising, it’s crucial to remember that it is still in the developmental stage and cannot yet replace traditional mammography. However, its potential for increasing accessibility and affordability of breast cancer screening, especially in remote or underfunded areas, is noteworthy.

Key Points:
  • The wearable ultrasound patch is designed to attach to a bra and allows for at-home breast cancer screening.
  • Dr. Kamila Seilhan, not involved in the research, states that the device could be useful for high-risk patients between routine mammograms and offers a safe way to track changes in soft tissue in real-time.
  • The device is based on piezoelectric materials, enabling it to be miniaturized into a portable scanner.
  • Dr. Jennifer Tseng notes that the device produces high-quality images and can identify cysts as small as 0.3 cm in diameter.
  • The device is still in the developmental stage and may become available within 4-5 years, requiring around $40M for FDA approval and mass production.

“…the existing medical community and physicians that would be interpreting and recommending actions based on this device’s information would need to be on board. Patient wearable, self-monitoring remote devices currently in use for cardiac and diabetic applications require a well-developed and sophisticated infrastructure. This involves many steps and personnel that will interpret, analyze, and initiate actions based on remote data input. It is this integrative process that will require significant participation.”
– Richard Reitherman, PhD, Board Certified Radiologist and Medical Director of Breast Imaging at MemorialCare Breast Center, Orange Coast Medical Center, Fountain Valley, CA

Additional Points:
  • The device aims to make breast cancer screening more affordable and accessible, especially in less economically developed countries.
  • Dr. Tseng and Dr. Onalisa Winblad caution that the device cannot replace mammograms and needs scientific data to prove its utility.
  • Researchers are also developing a workflow for AI to analyze data and generate diagnostic assessments.
  • Clinical trials and medical community acceptance are cited as major challenges for the device’s widespread adoption.

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